IAB: Podcast Ad Revenue Rises 14.7% As Growth Slows, But Still Impacts Direct Response

Direct-response advertising made up 54% of podcast advertising in 2019 -- up from 52% in 2018, according to Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) data released Monday.

Brand awareness made up 42% in 2019, up from 38% in 2018. Brand content made up 3% in 2019, down from 10% in 2018.

The data is part of the fourth annual Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) Podcast Advertising Revenue Report prepared by PwC.

There's a lot of interest in podcasts. Omnicom Media Group, for example, plans to spend $20 million on advertising in podcasts distributed by Spotify Technology under a deal during the second half of this year, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Podcast advertising revenue is expected to climb 14.7% this year -- approaching $1 billion in the United States, but down from an estimated 29.6% growth prior to the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.



Pre-COVID-19 advertising revenue for 2021 was expected to grow 55%, and in 2022 revenue was expected to rise 36% year-over-year.

Actual growth numbers in 2019 were 48%, reaching $708.1 million.

The annual survey was conducted in mid-March to understand 2019 podcast advertising revenue and forecast revenue growth from 2020 to 2022. The same group was re-surveyed in mid-April to determine the impact of podcast advertising revenue and projections related to COVID-19 for 2020.

The report released today shows that marketers who make podcasts part of their annual media buy rose 47% in 2019, while some advertising declined to 21% of overall buys.

  • DTC brands at 22% and financial services at 16% make up top podcast advertisers
  • Health & Wellness and Home & Appliance are the largest direct-to-consumer sub-categories
  • News is the leading podcast content genre for U.S. podcast advertisers, capturing 22% of revenue
  • Comedy at 17% makes up the second-largest following, and society and culture at 13% makes up the third-largest
  • Business at 11% and True Crime at 9% round out the top five

The IAB also forecast growth in 2021 to reach 55%, and 2022 numbers were revised down to 36% growth.  

1 comment about "IAB: Podcast Ad Revenue Rises 14.7% As Growth Slows, But Still Impacts Direct Response".
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  1. Pierre Bouvard from Cumulus Westwood One, July 14, 2020 at 12:30 p.m.

    The current 2020 podcast revenue forecast of $814M is only 6% less than what IAB/PwC predicted for 2020 last year at this time ($863M). That is amazing. Actual 2019 podcast revenues ($708M) ended up much stronger than the 2019 forecast ($679M). Even with the COVID impacts, 2020 podcast revenues are forecast to come in at 94% of last year's 2020 prediction! This speaks to the strength of audio as a powerful platform for both brands and direct response marketers. 

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